Health experts are optimistic about Ghana’s prospects of reducing child mortality, with the expected introduction of a pneumonia vaccine next year.

President of the Ghana Pediatric Society, Dr. Theresa Rettig, says the vaccine will be administered through the National Immunization Program.

Pneumonia is the world’s leading killer of children under five years, accounting for more death than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined.

Globally, a child dies of the condition every 20 seconds, and in Ghana 22 percent of children below age five die as a result of it.

The spread of the air borne ailment has been aided by over-crowding in many homes in Ghana.

Dr. Rettig says the situation is set to change significantly when the new vaccine arrives.

According to her, pneumonia has specifically been impacted by some influenza vaccines, but the new vaccine for streptococcus pneumonia, one of the main causes of pneumonia in children will be a remarkable leap in the prevention of the disease.

Dr Rettig spoke to Luv News at a seminar to mark this year’s World Pneumonia Day. It was under the theme, “the Role of the Community in Early Detection and Prevention of Pneumonia”.

Dr. Rettig stressed the need for community sensitization on how people can identify symptoms of the disease.

She noted a lot of children spend most hours of the day in schools and therefore stressed the need for education in schools for easy recognition of the signs of pneumonia.